This writing table may be identifiable with 'A Mahogany Writing Table for Do. (Mr. Jones's Office) Covered with black Leather on Taper feet, & containing 2 drawers on each side finish'd with best Locks, Keys & brass handles complete 8.8.0' supplied by Messrs. Mayhew and Ince on 12 July 1790 to the Duke of Bedford on the Town Account.
With its distinctive elongated 'Palmyreen' oval patera, this writing table relates to Mayhew and Ince's documented oeuvre even at Woburn, Lord Maynard's Bedroom in the East Wing at Woburn having 'a Four post lath bottom Bedstead (with) Pateras to cover the screw holes.' Similar patera feature on the 'large mahogany semi oval sideboard curiously inlaid with different colour'd woods' bought by Henry Bankes from Mayhew and Ince on 30 August 1786 for £29 18s 3d (now at Kingston Lacy), as well as on the bowfronted corner table suplied to the 4th Duke of Marlborough (H. Roberts, 'Nicely Fitted Up', Furniture History Society Journal, Vol.XXX, 1994, fig.27).
There are extensive payments of over £1,100 to Mayhew and Ince by both the 4th and 5th Dukes of Bedford between 1767-97, principally following Holland's remodelling at Woburn, as well as for Bedford House and Clarges Street, London and Oakly. Amongst these, the largest bill for 1786, totalling £402 19s 6d for Library and Dining Room furniture, is now missing. Interestingly, an apparently identical table, although of different timber, remains at Woburn.
These same handles featured on the commode attributed to Mayhew and Ince sold anonymously Christie's London, 4 July 1996, lot 389.